EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County Community Development will join with Ameren Illinois to distribute 60 air conditioners to county households in need.
The project is part of Ameren Cares, a program that will distribute 500 total air-conditioning units throughout the Ameren Illinois territory this summer.
Madison County Chairman Alan J. Dunstan said the program serves to help residents stay safe in warmer temperatures.
“As we head into the summer months of high heat and humidity, the Ameren Cares program will keep 60 households safe and cool this summer,” Dunstan said.
“The extreme temperatures we experience in the Midwest are particularly dangerous to senior citizens and the very young,” he said. “During periods of high temperatures, we hope county residents will frequently check on family members, friends and neighbors to ensure they are safe.”
To kick off the distribution, Ameren will host an event at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, at the Ameren Illinois Operating Center in Alton. Some households will receive units at this event, and the rest will be distributed by Madison County Community Development in the days following. All units are meant to be distributed before Aug. 1.
Recipients of the air-conditioning units are determined based on actors related to need and risk. Low-income families as well as senior citizens and disabled customers are given consideration following guidelines developed by Madison County Community Development. Special consideration is given to senior, the severely disabled, households with children younger than 5, low-income families and veterans who qualify for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
Households are considered on an application basis. Application appointments will start June 16. Those interested in applying can call (618) 296-6485 to make an appointment.
Madison County Community Development Administrator Frank Miles said the Community Development office is working to ensure each unit is placed properly.
“The staff at Community Development will determine which households have the highest risk and the most need as part of our efforts to assist county residents as much as possible,” he said.
This number of air conditioners donated to residents as part of the Ameren Cares program has grown from its inaugural year, when 300 units were distributed to residents in need. Ameren Cares originated in 2013 as an initiative to connect Ameren with its clients and the communities it serves through volunteering and charitable giving.